Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Jane Ruble Howard  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Children; Children;

Born: 1924 in Bloomington, Indiana

Died: June, 2010 in Buffalo Grove, Illinois

-- Jane Ruble Howard on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Jane Howard lived in Buffalo Grove, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Jane R. Howard adapted the script for ''MARIA S LOOM'' from her story that appeared in ''HIGHLIGHTS FOR CHILDREN''. An award winning playwright, her plays and musicals for children include ''FRANK + MARIANNE'', ''DREAMZZZ'', and ''MARQUEE'', which was produced by Sierra Repertory theatre of Sonora, California. Her plays have been published by Bakers Plays and in ''PLAYS, THE DRAMA MAGAZINE FOR YOUNG PE''OPLE (collaboration). She is also the author of two picture books published by E. P. Dutton: ''WHEN I M SLEEPY'', a Children s Book-of-the-Month Club selection translated into eight languages, and ''WHEN I M HUNGRY'', anthologized by Scott Foresman.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

ISBN: 0425044866

Berkley. 1980

In 'Families' Jane Howard informally visits many dozens of families and tries to discover what makes the best ones work so well. Families are not dying, she finds, although they are evolving in various ways. From the tightest-knit nuclear family or extended clan to the most fragile new commune, the family in one guise or another remains everybody's most basic hold on reality. We may run away from our families as many do, but no sooner do we escape than we find another one, often very much like it. Sympathetically, with immense thrust, she crosses the continent to discover families' myths, jokes, and rituals. She leafs through their scrapbooks, sits on their porches, and takes part, when she can, in their feasts and celebrations. She talks to a father of eighteen, several double first cousins, stepchildren, multiple godmothers, an honorary relative of an Indian tribe, and a nine-year-old boy who has no family but his mother. She sits with a matriarch on the front stoop of a ghetto house, goes camping with a family in Mexico, has Thanksgiving with another in Iowa, and orders pizza with a Greek clan in Massachusetts. Howard reports on visits to conventional Southern and Jewish households and to innovative ones whose members, lacking a common history, plan on building common futures as if water were after all as thick as blood. She examines the notion that "there are ways and ways of achieving kinship, of which birth and marriage are only the most obvious." Millions of clans and families all over the United States continue to celebrate, quarrel, disband, reunite, and endure. Jane Howard makes us realize how our lives are interwoven both with the families we are born into and with those we invent as we go through life. 'Families' is compassionate, provocative, and profound. The paperback edition of this important work will be essential reading for all those with an interest in the study of familial bonds, particularly sociologists, anthropologists, and psychologists.

When I'm Hungry
ISBN: 0525449833

Dutton Juvenile. 1992

A child imagines eating like a variety of animals, catching food or eating it off the trees, but decides that using a plate and glass is best

ISBN: 0821760068

Zebra. 1998

When I'm Sleepy (Picture Puffins)
ISBN: 0140567593

Puffin. 2000

A little girl imagines herself snuggling in a bear's den, curling up like a kitten, and hanging upside down from a tree with a snoozing bat, as she joins a sleepy variety of loving animal companions at bedtime. Reprint.

Maria's Loom
ISBN: 0876024177

Anchorage Pr. 2007

Play script. An original fairytale with music by Jane R. Howard, MARIA'S LOOM is a delight-filled musical tale with a bit of audience participation. Maria and her two sweet, but selfish sisters find that kindness is worth more than three pieces of gold. 5 minimum, up to 10 with roles distributed

cross-casting okay. Simple setting, suitable for touring.

With an empty cupboard and an enormous amount of weaving to do for her customers, Maria watches in horror as her faithful loom breaks beyond repair. Enter the Good Fairy, who gives to Maria and her two lazy sisters three gold pieces each. "Use these wisely, and you will be granted three wishes. "But", she warns,"woe unto one who fails." Soon the two sisters not only turn away a poor old man who is freezing, but then they also succumb to the pastries and baubles of two cunning peddlers who leave them without their gold coins and stuck fast Elsa to the giant peppermint sticks and Louisa to a fancy but very weighty bonnet. Kindly Maria, however, welcomes in the old man, wraps him in her cloak and magically solves all the family problems and much more.